• Education

    Alice in the Confucius China Studies Program

    I agreed to fairy exchange some knowledge service with a friend few hours ago, and here I am, trying to figure out how and why I ended up being a PhD Student officially enrolled at Peking University. To make a long story short: I think I was made for China. and studying in China, and now I am supported to do this by the Confucius China Studies Program, which I herein explain. I applied for the Confucius program in 2013. I had a BA and MA from Italy’s Venice University in Asian Studies, one fresh HSK (Chinese language test) certificate, one semester at Beijing Capital Normal University, one year at…

  • Education

    Suzhou: From Canals to Clouds 2.0

      Some 66km inland from Shanghai is the ancient settlement of Suzhou. Today home to 13 million residents, the city is famous for its ancient canal system, temples and gardens – but maybe not for much longer. A series of only-in-Suzhou innovation and research clusters may redefine not just Suzhou, but global innovation infrastructure and output.

  • Education

    Anti-Corruption By Degree: China’s Crackdown Moves to the Academic Sector

    The financial crisis of 2008 brought China’s decades-long reliance on cheap manufacturing exports to induce extraordinary growth and savings rates to a spluttering end. The plan henceforth is to stimulate domestic-led growth through science and innovation. As a consequence China’s universities and research community are now more important than ever within the broader Chinese national vision and economic reform process. And hence, the academic sector is, according to Chinese media, also coming into view of China’s corruption investigators. This piece introduces the nature of the corruption, and some examples of the on-going crackdown. Corruption in the academic sector in China is said to apply mainly to capital expenditure, admissions and…

  • Growth Challenges

    The Middle Dream

      Soon after becoming Chinese President in November 2012 Xi Jinping spoke of his belief that “The Great Revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese dream”. Attempts to understand the concept of “Chinese dream” have followed extensively since.

  • Education

    China Student Visa Update: X Marks the What?

    In late 2013 China changed its visa system for foreign aliens. This piece offers a simple related update, focusing on three key points as applying to students: 1) Explanation of the new X1 vs X2 visas; 2) Can students now work in China?; 3) Can students work in China after graduating with a Chinese degree? 1.     X1 vs X2 Visas. Previously short-term student visitors to China held F visas, and long-term students held X visas. Now short-term (periods less than 6 months) students hold X2 visas. Long-term students (greater than six months) hold X1 visas. According to the Law and Border blog, X2 visa holders must register with their local Public…

  • Education

    The Leaning Tower of Shanghai’s PISA Scores

      Education headlines this week have been dominated by the success of Shanghai high school students in this year’s PISA survey. If only journalists had asked those top scoring students about sampling issues, they may have learned that comparing Shanghai students to the otherwise national surveys included in the study is, well, something top scoring maths students would not likely do.